Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gainesville Wedding Expo!

It's that time of year, when all the brides who are planning their weddings come to The Performing Arts Center to find the most incredible wedding vendors! I know you are dying to know when, and how you can win door prizes from over 40 vendors... plus... win a $2500 planning package from MasterPiece Weddings!

So here are the deets:
Sunday, January 9, 2011 12:00 – 5:00 PM

Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets are: $10.00 Advance; $12.00 At Door

You have a Once in a Lifetime Chance to Plan Your Dream Wedding in One Day, under one roof, at the beautiful Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Experience a Gainesville Tradition at an Extraordinary Venue!

Consult with Over Forty of Our Area’s Finest Wedding Professionals, Enjoy Delicious Samples, Register for Prizes and experience a fun-filled Runway Fashion Show presented exclusively by Jay’s Bridal. Relax and Be Entertained in the comfort of an 1,800 seat Theater.

This is The Bridal Event that’s as Exciting as the Venue.

Save $2.00. Pre-Register And Purchase Tickets and for more information, please visit Gainesville Wedding Expo.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

I hope you have something spectacular planned for Christmas! I think Christmas Eve has become by favorite holiday. I know it sounds silly, because really it should be Christmas, and it used to be. I mean the hub-bub, and waking up early cuz Santa came!Santa came! And the jumping on the bed to wake everyone in the house up at 6AM and my parent stumbling to make coffee just to stick toothpicks in their eyes while my sister and I hustle and bustled to tear everything open faster than my parents could stir cream into their coffee.... that part will always hold a special place in my heart.

Me and my sister dancing circa 1983ish


Christmas Eve.

Now that is holiday that I am loving.

And here is why.

Bad Picture we took while everyone was eating and mid conversation
Friends and family gather at our house for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This is my 17th year enjoying this tradition. We've added some new recipes and made it our own, but the Itailian Feast of the Seven Fishes is so much fun to prepare. We always set the menu earlier in the month, and John and I prep and cook and plan this amazing meal to share with our friends and family.

There's no stress, no hustle and bustle. Just a meal, some prayer, some wine (there's always wine), fun conversations over new recipes and old.

And then at midnight we go to church, sing, and then at the end, wish each other a Merry Christmas. And go to bed remembering what The Holidays are all about.

I think it's the tradition of it all, something I can pass down to Gabriel, and something he can carry on to his family.

And I love it!

If you are curious as to what the Seven Fishes is all about here goes:

The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the medieval Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence—in this case, refraining from the consumption of meat or milk products—on Fridays and specific holy days. As no meat or butter could be used, observant Catholics would instead eat fish, typically fried in oil.

There are many hypotheses for what the number "7" relates to, one being the number of Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church. Another theory is that seven is a number representing perfection: the traditional Biblical number for divinity is three, and for Earth is four, and the combination of these numbers, seven, represents God on Earth, or Jesus Christ.

Or the Seven Deadly Sins, the seven days of the week... or just cuz someone long ago thought 7 was a good round number.

Either way-

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

 We had such a great time planning and working with Joanne on her beautfully romantical and personal wedding!!

Her and her hubby are both doctors and are so busy, so in-between patients and taking care of them, we planned this perfectly personal story on the beach with her family flown in from The Phillipines and Jay's super Southern buy yet New York Style, was a perfect blend to bring everyone to Florida, and hang out on the beach for the weekend.

Thank you to:

Venue and Catering - Ponte Vedra Inn and Club
Photography - Jimmy Ho
Officiant: Chad Reed
Florals Decor and Rentals: The Unforgettable Event
Band: Last to Leave
Wedding Planner: MasterPiece Weddings

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top 50!!!

I was so thrilled to recieve an email from Andrea Contreras at Project Management Training letting me know that our blog, our super fun, widdle blog was named one of the Top 50 Wedding Planning Blogs! Of all of the blogs in all of the world, we were named #2!!! How cool beans is that!

Here is what PMT had to say:

2. Masterpiece Weddings This ace wedding blog is the cream of the crop and the perfect starting place for those who aren’t sure what their wedding style should be.

What makes it the coolest of the cool beans is that we were named with some fab company, the likes of the Awesomely Awesome Susan of The Premier Wedding Guide and Lisa of E-Events and In My Shoes!

Thank you so much to PMT for recongizing us, and listing us amongst such incredible company!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Perfect Gift

Are you looking for the perfect gift? The gift for the person that has everything?

Well, have I got the perfect idea for you! What about the gift of the yummiest kind?

The gift of Kake Truffles is not only delicious, but now you can buy a gift certificate and your gift can be picked up or shipped at anytime!

Your gift receiver can not only choose the flavors but when they want or need them! It's perfect!

Perfectly Delicious!
Perfectly Timed!
Perfectly Perfect!

To order your Truffles or Gift Certificate, email Erika at, or check them out at

Gift Certificates can be emailed, so for you last minute shoppers (you know who you are) can still order them, you still have time! Go... email Erika now!

(MasterPiece Weddings was not compensated in anyway for this post - however would like to add that compensation by Truffles would be greatly appreciated)

Monday, December 20, 2010

You never know....

You'll never know who you'll meet. Or when.

You see, I was invited to a birthday party for a dear friend, and I sat down next to a guy that I thought looked as if I could make good conversation with.

Super nice guy, he and his family and friends immediately had me laughing, and the conversation was easy.

I asked him what he did. He said that he was an Event Planner.

I thought, pstcha... whatever. Sure you are. Everyone is an event planner. Whatever.

So then I asked him what type of events he planned, he mentioned some large corporate events, for fashion clients, and large marketing firms.

Okay, sure you do... maybe... maybe you plan something sort of cool like that.

Then he sees me tweeting... he asks me about Twitter... and my blog. And I ask him more about what he does.

Then he casually, and I mean oh so casually, mentioned he'll be on Martha Stewart Radio on Wednesday.


No Biggie.

So, I introduce him to my friend Jen, and now Mark Addison and I are BFF's. And I think he's super cool, and I'll cling glasses with him anytime of day.

Have you met, my friend, the Event Planner in New York, Mark Addison? Mark, meet my blog friends, friends, meet Mark.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cookie Time! Raspberry Ribbons


1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raspberry jam

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2.Divide dough into four portions; shape each into a 10-in. x 2-1/2-in. log. Place 4 in. apart on greased or foil-lined baking sheets. Make a 1/2-in. depression down the center of each log. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

3.Fill depressions with jam. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes. Remove to a cutting board; cut into 3/4-in. slices. Place on wire racks.

4.In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over warm cookies. cool completely.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cookie Time! Chocolate Espresso Snowcap


Makes 18

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons instant espresso
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon milk
Confectioners' sugar, for coating


1.In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.

2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Pour confectioners' sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.

3.Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

(We can thank Martha Stewart for adding to this to our annual Christmas Cookie baking)


Read more at Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps - Martha Stewart Recipes

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2011 Trends Workshop

There is a great workshop coming up for brides at Love Wedd, it's totally free and will feature some up and coming trends in floral designs, linens, food, photography, stationary and much more!

So if you are a bride in Gainesville, and crave more and more wedding, go, have fun, learn,and sample some great food while your at it!

So RSVP by calling Love Wedd!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What an Intern learned

Every semester MasterPiece Weddings accepts two interns from The University of Florida to work with our company.

It's fun for us to see the excitment and enthusiasm that each intern has when they come into our office and see all of the wedding wonderment. And then at the end of the day to see the exhaustion in their faces. But the energy and excitment to come back tomorrow to do it all over again.

This semester I asked our interns Lizzie and Heather to write about their experiences at MasterPiece Weddings.

Lizzie is up first! Here is her summary of her time with us.

My wedding day with Melissa happened to fall on 10.10.10. We had two weddings in one day! It was a busy first wedding day for me, but I worked hard and learned a lot. I felt that these first weddings gave me a solid foundation for the beginning of my 100 hours with Melissa. Through the next couple weddings, I grew more confident in my abilities to handle certain situations. In addition, the certification class gave me extra knowledge which I used in my hours with Melissa.

The first lesson I took away from my experience is a wedding planner’s relationships with vendors is key. Melissa showed me ways to develop friendly relationships with vendors while still remaining professional. I learned how to deal with vendors on the phone and in person as well as the knowledge of how to keep vendor information organized.

The second lesson I learned is to always stay calm no matter what the situation is. If a planner is wigging out, the bride will start to panic, and the last thing a planner wants is for a bride to be unhappy on the best day of her life! Melissa deals with issues that arise swiftly, discretely, and gracefully. I only hope to keep as calm as she does. Many people think that a Wedding Coordinator is unnecessary; however, I saw firsthand that a planner can save the day and just make the life of the couple so much easier.

Through this experience, I discovered that Wedding Planning is my passion. To me, it is not a job. I love just being in the moment helping two people celebrate their love. I want to thank Melissa so much for mentoring me and giving me invaluable experience. There is no way that I would be starting out my career so confidently if it was not for her.

If you are interested in applying for the Intern Program at MasterPiece Weddings, please email us at interns {at} masterpieceweddings {dot} net

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cookie Time! Pumpkin Cookie/Scone

We are bringing back Cookie TimeFriday for the month of December, every Friday during this month, I'll share with you some of my favorite recipes and favorite cookies!

First up, Pumpkin Cookies (these are seriously just like the Pumpkin Scones from a popular coffee shop)


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree or 1 3/4 cup of fresh pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

2.In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

3.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

4.To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve a thick dipping or drizzling consistency.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Summer and Scott 10/10/10

Summer and Scott chose 10/10/10 for their wedding day because they are nerds (self professed) and their images are dorky and sweet and absolutely romantically spectacular!!!

Thank you Lindsey from Pure by Lindsey for really capturing these moments so spectacularly!!!

Oh and PS - I had the honor of marrying Summer and Scott! It was so much fun!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Love Wedd

Have you been to the funnest Bridal Boutique in Gainesville? If not, you must make a trip to Love Wedd!

If you aren't in Gainesville, head over to the Love Wedd Blog for fun giveaways, and FREE workshops that we'll be hosting there!
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